The Saranac Lake boys hockey team kicks off the Section VII tournament tonight on the road against Northeastern Clinton. The Cougars earned the home-ice advantage Monday night with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Red Storm.
The teams will go at it again tonight with a spot in Thursday's sectional semifinal on the line. The winner will play either Lake Placid or Beekmantown, the top two seeds in the section.
Saranac Lake led most of the way Monday after David Cluckey scored 8:56 into the first period on an assist from Brett Dawson.
Neither team was able to manage a goal for the remainder of the first and throughout the second period. Northeastern Clinton broke through with the equalizer with 1:39 remaining in the game when Dayton Roberts found the back of the net.
Jordan LaMere ended the game 2:04 into overtime.
Blake Darrah stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced in goal for Saranac Lake. Anthony Piche made 12 saves for the Cougars.
Northeastern Clinton (8-7-1 overall, 4-5-1 CVAC) earned the No. 4 seed in the tournament with the win. Saranac Lake is 6-11-1 overall and 3-7 in conference games and will be the No. 5 seed.
Lake Placid (17-3) is the No. 1 seed after winning nine of its 10 league games. The Blue Bombers only league loss came Saturday with a 3-2 overtime loss to Plattsburgh (10-10, 5-5), which earned the No. 3 seed with the win and will play Saranac tonight.
Beekmantown is seeded No. 2 in the tournament and will host the lower seed of the two teams to come out of tonight's quarterfinals. Lake Placid is at home Thursday against the higher seed.